Ana Ivanovic announced on her website today that she is working with 51-year-old Swiss tennis coach, TV commentator and former pro Heinz Gunthardt, who helped guide Steffi Graf to 12 major titles. Gunthardt and Ivanovic will make their public debut as a team at next week’s BNP Paribas Showdown exhibition in New York, where Ana is a last-minute replacement for an injured Serena Williams. Ana is set to play Kim Clijsters in the first round at Madison Square Garden, which will consist of one set with no-ad scoring. Let’s hope Ana wins a few games!
Per Monster’s & Critics, Ana’s “coaching relationship” with adidas’s high performance coaching team, including her mentor Sven Groeneveld, is over, though she will continue to be sponsored by the company.
Just a year ago Ana hired Martina Navratilova’s old coach, Craig Kardon, but parted ways with him four months later to return to adidas and Sven Groeneveld. 2009 was a horrible season for the Serb; Ana didn’t win any titles and fell out of the Top 20 for the first time since 2005.
Let’s hope this newest change isn’t a stop gap effort but something that could lead to longterm improvements (and perhaps fewer desperate fist pumps?) Women’s tennis is better with a confident, free-wheeling Ana Ivanovic! (Remember her? Vaguely?)